Mindy Memories

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Got thinking about an old post

I've been a bad blogger lately, and here I am reposting something from a year ago. I guess this is a clip show. However, it's been on my mind again lately due some things I've seen and heard. A friend's niece (she was 16) recently killed herself because she could no longer deal with her anorexia. Today I've seen some very painful posts on a board I frequent -- people who have been very hurt by the way they have been treated simply because they are overweight.

I'm fat. I can say that without making it a judgment on my value as a person, just the way it is. I didn't always feel this way, though. I look back on my high school years when I was in fantastic shape and I thought I was fat because I wasn't girly. I was muscular from swimming and playing sports but I didn't have that nice, thin figure so many of the other girls had. Of course, now I look back and see how I really looked and it bothers me that so many high school kids are pressured to fit into a very specific form.

I've been putting off rejoining a fantastic health club with a beautiful pool that is near my home. I wonder if I'm putting it off because I'm afraid of becoming obsessed with working out and counting calories again. Well, I'm going to start slow by using my sister's pool while I'm visiting and then seeing how I'm doing. I hope to rejoing my pool when I get back.

Anyway, enough blathering. Here's the pertinent part of that long post, inpsired by last year's Summer Olympics:

Olympics and body image

...I wanted to post something about the Olympics and body image. I'm sure men go through this just like women do, but since I'm not a man I'm only going to go by my perspective.

As much as I absolutely love the Olympics and the athletic ability of the Olympians, I think it's important for us to realize what they go through to have those bodies -- mainly talking about the swimmers, as that was my sport. There seems to be a train of thought out there that all women who are 41 can be in the same shape as Dara Torres, or that younger women can look like some of the other swimmers. Don't get me wrong, Dara is AMAZING and this is NOT a knock on her in any way. However, most 41-year-olds have jobs. Dara's full-time job is swimming, and most women can't swim full-time.

I bring this up because of something that happened a few years ago, something I'd mostly forgotten about until I was watching the swimming again. A few years back, when I was on yet another diet trying to practically starve myself and swim my pounds away, I had a conversation with my older (and wiser) sister. I said I'd taped a picture of Olympic swimmer Amy VanDyken to my fridge because that's the body I wanted and thought I could achieve if I ate right and worked hard enough in the pool. Maureen is silent (on the phone) for a minute, then says, "So, your goal is to look like an Olympic gold-medal winner, and you think this is realistic?" Up until then, I hadn't looked at it that way and that really helped me realize how I was completely unrealistic with that goal. I was in my 30s, worked two jobs at the time, and didn't look like that at my peak performance when I was 18. But somehow I felt I could have Amy's body.

At that point, I could almost hear an audible "click" in my head when I realized how unrealistic I was being. Since then, I've slowly become more comfortable with my body and feel pretty good. I'm fat, yes, but I haven't eaten so well in years. I eat well, don't count calories or any of that stuff that leads me to become incredibly obsessed with food. I currently have different foods to choose from in the fridge -- yesterday I made some rice with edamame and chili made with lean ground turkey and white kidney beans. I have some fruit in there, veggies, chicken to cook, stuff like that. And yes, I had some Pillsbury crescent rolls and I have a little pint of ice cream in the fridge. So sue me, lol.

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  • At 8:50 PM, Blogger Rachel S-H said…

    Thank you for posting, Mindy. It's really something to think about. I do want to get a healthier body, but I don't like that people think the only "healthy" is super-skinny. I just wish there was a way to get the rest of the world clued in on a more moderate level of healthy.


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